Wisconsin 7: Life after Obey

I can’t think of the north woods of Wisconsin without thinking of the old Hamm’s beer jingle: “From the land of sky-blue waters (wa-ha-terssss)…” This is the land of logging camps, muskies, rustic cabins with knotty-pine interiors and an electorate that historically held an independently progressive streak. When this district’s venerable Congressman, David Obey, announced his retirement after 40 years of serving the area, local Republicans believed that they finally had a chance to break through. But do they?

While it’s not official until their primary is held in September, the pundits agree that that the GOP will have a strong candidate in Ashland County District Attorney Sean Duffy. Duffy has garnered a reputation as a tireless worker whose strong fund-raising efforts are keeping him in the game. The Democrats’ likely candidate is no slouch as well: State Senator Julie Lassa. In this election where, nationally speaking,  new=better, Lassa has the burden of having a legislative voting record which will undoubted be forensically examined and splashed. Also at play here is the fact that this district’s Independent voters’ negative reaction to Obey’s votes on a variety  of President Obama’s reform measures–notably health-care reform. (See post HERE.)

That leads us to the purpose of this Quick-Shot series: to measure the mindset of the all-important Independent voters at this point in the election cycle.  This series of polls are aimed at just that, and while we feel confident about the overall head-to-head numbers, the focus here is on INDEPENDENTS. Got it? OK.

Late last week we asked 1,002 randomly selected voters in Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional District two simple questions:

If the election for your member of Congress were held today, for whom would you vote? and…

What is your political party affiliation?

Here are the results:

Wisconsin CD 7 - Life after Obey

Date of Poll: 8/4/2010
Participants: 1,002 registered voters
Margin of Error: ±3.10%
CANDIDATE
Total
Democrat
Republican
Independent
(R) Sean Duffy41.83%11.53%79.50%37.77%
(D) Julie Lassa33.09%72.88%4.68%22.87%
Other/Unsure25.08%15.59%15.83%39.36%

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As you will see as our Quick-Shot Series, WI-7 mirrors a trend in two areas:

  • Democrat voters are straying a bit more off base than Republicans. In WI-7, 11.53% of those who said they were Democrats chose Sean Duffy, but only 4.68% of Republican chose Julie Lassa.
  • Independents are  leaning the GOP’s way. In WI-7, the GOP enjoy a 15% margin. However, this district has one of the highest percentages of undecided Independents, so this is a long way from over.

You may be wondering whether the advantage that Republicans have over Democrats among Independents is an anti-incumbent sentiment or a turn to the right. Watch for more in this series to find out!

to measure the mindset of the all-important Independent voters at this point in the election cycle.  This series of polls are aimed at just that, and while we feel confident about the overall head-to-head numbers, the focus here is on INDEPENDENTS. Got it? OK.
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